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Matheysine is one of the wildest and coldest areas of France, to the point of earning the nickname “Little Siberia.” A plateau dominated by the icy wind that blows over the Cottian Alps, by the glacial lakes scattered around their perimeter, and by the damp forests that beautify the trails. Since 2016, this little-known area has become one of Europe’s skyrunning capitals with the Skyrace des Matheysins. In this early-season event, specialists and amateurs can challenge themselves with four levels of difficulty, pushing up above the clouds while staring downward as if to give a further boost to tight muscles. Over the years, the format and scope of the event have evolved, and today the signature race (25 km with 1,950 m elevation gain) is part of the Skyrunner® World Series race circuit. The beauty of the climbs and descents between the crests of the three peaks that denote the route’s elevation gain; the alternating mud, snow, and rain that mix together in some places; the challenge of holding your nerve on the climbs and descents — the Skyrace des Matheysins is the essence of skyrunning.




25 km
1,950 m elevation gain

The signature race that gives the event its name allows you to link the peaks of Pérollier, Tabor, and Piquet de Nantes in a fun loop featuring varied conditions. The profile, which approximates a pyramid shape, reflects a first part where you run on your toes on the rocky ridges, in direct contact with the sky, before reaching the “Devil’s garden” (a mini vertical race with 600 m of elevation gain over 3 km), the highest point of the race. The technical descent from the summit to Tabor, which is often covered in snow, marks the reverse of the elevation gain, leading through the long and enchanting forest of the Roizonne valley to the finish line in Saint-Honoré.


42 km
3,150 m elevation gain


The longest-distance race. Like the classic version, it follows the same route every year. It’s faster and less technical. A real tour of the massifs in the heart of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It’s the ascent of and descent from the Pérollier and the Piquet de Nantes that set the pace for the competition, for a total of two climbs and two gradual descents. The Skytour is the right challenge both for those who are new to the ultra-distance world and for those looking for a significant test in view of their main goals for the season.


19 km
1,280 m elevation gain


The race designed for amateur skyrunners offers a shorter, innovative route that, starting from the French municipality of Lavaldens, crosses woods and waterways in the north of the Écrins National Park. But even on this route there’s no shortage of technical single track and fast descents that are not recommended for those who suffer from vertigo. After the first relatively straightforward 6 km, the challenge heats up on the switchbacks of “les Aigles,” up to the Piquet de Nantes. The last 8 km, which soon separate from the main route, feature a steep descent where you must keep your desire to free your tense muscles in check in order to conserve energy.


12 km
280 m elevation gain


The race follows part of the route of the same name designed for fast hiking and e-MTB. The route is designed for everyone and concentrates the almost 300 m of elevation gain in the first 5 km, among rock and patches of snow. Immediately afterward comes a gentle descent that passes by the towns of Saint-Honoré and Nantes-en-Ratier.


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